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THE WIND IN HIS MOUTH - strange fantasy story - story about hiding a medical complaint - fiction story about concealing illness - extremely strange elliptical fantasy fiction story by Hugh Cook - strangefantasy sotry - strangefantasystory - weirdstrange - srange story - strangeweird - strange elliptical fantasy fiction story weird medical condition story - very strange fantasy story - verystrangefantasystory - strangefantasyfiction - strange fantasy fiction story - THE WIND IN HIS MOUTH by Hugh Cook

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The Wind in His Mouth

        On his tenth wedding anniversary, halfway through the candlelit dinner, he opened his mouth and the wind burped out.
        Right away, he knew there was something wrong. There was no gastrointestinal component to this outburst. It came leaping out of his mouth, the wind. And that shouldn't happen.
        "The wind doesn't live in your mouth," he said to himself, a week later, after it happened a second time.
        "And what did he say about the promotion?" said Camilla, her hand toying with the pearls, cheap baubles which still satisfied the unthinking tactile needs of her acquisitive fingers, if not her deeper greeds.
        "Nothing," he said, ashamed. "The subject didn't come up."
        His career was stalled. It was, after all, the age of downsizing, outsourcing, streamlining. He had recently seen (a secret, he could tell nobody) the Reproject document, previously just a rumor. Yes, his entire level of management was scheduled to be -
        "There isn't any trouble at work, is there?" said Camilla, a little sharply.
        "No," he said. "No, of course not. I'd tell you if there was."
        But some things are unspeakable, like the burst of air which breached from his mouth when he, snoring, permitted his jaws to gape.
        "What was that?" said Camilla, waking with a start.
        "Huh?" he said, faking a drowsy awakening, though he was wide awake and alive with adrenalin, his body a buzz of pulses.
        "There's someone in the house," said Camilla. "I heard him. Bimbo! Get out of bed! You have to look!"
        He hated it when she called him Bimbo. That was another secret. One he could share with nobody. However, he was happy enough to flee the matrimonial bed, venturing out bravely to seek, search and destroy.
        "Nothing wrong that I can see," said Doctor Scone, wrapping up the consultation.
        But was that true? He had not told Doctor Scone about the wind. Some things he could not even tell his doctor, not really. He could not confess that the wind had taken up residence in his mouth, and was growing so strong that at times it threatened to force his jaws apart and scream forth, brutal in conquest, rupturing meal times, conferences, movie theatre tensions.
        "The client is unhappy," said Deeboko. "Don't blow it."
        But he, he knew about the client. Unhappy? No, the client was not unhappy. Not exactly. The client had gone thermonuclear. The client was in meltdown mode, spewing radioactivity in all directions. The client was career death to anyone who came within contamination distance. No way to win. All he could do was fail, and that would be the excuse they needed, and he must fail, because the wind -
        "Something wrong?" said Deeboko, quizzically.
        Now was the time to confess, but he couldn't, no, not to Deeboko. They probably didn't want him now, but if they knew how sick he was then he would definitely be finished.
        "I won't mess it up," he said.
        Wrong attitude. He should be all smiles, confidence, a bundle of positive statements. I'll turn this around for you. I'll get us back on track.
        "No answer?" said Ginmill, the client's hard man, glowering at him from across the table.
        He didn't dare reply, because the wind was just waiting for a chance to leap forth, he could feel it, a ferocious broil of turbulence building and building, but he held it, gritted his teeth, felt a sudden crack as the weak tooth (remember Dentist Watson's warning?) fractured and split, and Ginmill recoiled, screamed backward -
        "Spat in his face?" said Camilla in disgust.
        There was no hiding it. He was on TV, even. And he would be back in court tomorrow. Twenty years in jail, that was what his lawyer was telling him. Body fluids, the whole world is paranoid. (Not without reason.)
        He opened his mouth and a puff of wind jumped out.
        "Oh," said Camilla. "And your problem. Maybe we should talk about that."
        His spirits soared. Despite everything, he rejoiced. She knew! She understood! They were going to be able to share! He was going to escape his solipsistic universe, his lockcage prison of intolerable silence.
        "I don't know how to say this," said Camilla. "But your breath stinks. Really. Stinks. I mean, that's the only word for it."
        Then she turned around and walked out, leaving him sitting there with a half-eaten sandwich and his cup of coffee, stone cold coffee.

The End

This fantasy fiction story, "The Wind in his Mouth," was first published when posted online by Hugh Cook 2004 April 29 Thursday. Copyright © 2004 Hugh Cook. All rights reserved.

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honeymoon horror story

        "The honeymoon suite," said the clerk brightly, handing over the keys.
        "Thank you," said Benven.
        On the way to the room, Lasella followed him. This didn't feel right. In her imagination, they had walked hand in hand, smiling. But, for some reason, after barely six hours of married life, she had gotten into the habit of following him.


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